Cooking pig is a popular way to celebrate holidays, or other important events, in many countries. Luaus are the most well known of these celebrations. During a luau, pigs are barbecued whole, using a spit. There are other ways to go about cooking pig, but due to their size, barbecuing is done most often.
Locate an area free of flammable material such as leaves, dried brush, hanging trees, and combustible material. The area should be at least 6 feet (1.83 m) wide by 6 feet (1.832 m) tall to accommodate the size of the cooking pig. Sweep the area clean of rocks, pine cones and other debris.
Cover the swept area with multiple layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will make the clean-up much easier, since the cooking pig will drip juices. Border the aluminum foil with rocks, or bricks, piled at least 18 inches (45.7 cm) high. This will be used to hold the charcoal when barbecuing.
Cooking pig requires a lot of heat and time. Place a large bag of charcoal, unopened, in the barbecue pit. Cover the charcoal bag with lighter fluid and stand back. Strike a match and toss it on the charcoal. After the coals are hot, smooth them out towards the edge of the bricks with a fireplace poker. Allow at least 20 minutes for the coals to heat thoroughly.
When the coals are hot, lay a grate over the barbecue pit. Place the pig, rib side down, on the grate. Sprinkle the entire pig with salt and allow it to cook. Cooking pig takes a long time, so you may want to bring a chair and a buddy. Keep an eye on the fire, because if the flames rise too high you will need to spray them down with a water bottle, or hose.
Turn the cooking pig over after 3 hours, or when the ribs loosen. If desired, add barbecue sauce at this time. Cover the top of the pig in foil to prevent it from overcooking and becoming tough. This will also keep flies away from the pig while it finished cooking. Allow it to barbecue for another 3 to 4 hours.
If using a spit to cook the pig, you will need to lay the pig on its side to insert the horizontal bar through its rear end. Guide the bar through until it exits out the mouth. The inside cavity of the pig is lined with foil and filled with stuffing, if desired. The cavity is then sewn closed with butcher's twine.
When cooking pig on a spit, you must tie up the legs. This prevents them from dangling in the fire and getting burned. The coals should be positioned below the pig's shoulders and legs, as they are the thickest area of the pig and require a majority of the heat to cook thoroughly. An 130 pound (58.96 kg) pig usually requires 6 hours to cook.